Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Early Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

However, this choice may bring many complications, such as having to act as a sort of 'spy', always hiding his presence in one group from the other groups. He also can never really be part of a group, just a peripheral 'participant'. Oh, and he has to be especially careful during all mixed congregations, like lunch or even his classes.

It's Greg's senior year and things are surprisingly not sucking as bad as they usually do. Until he discovers that his childhood jew classmate, Rachel Kushner, has an acute form of leukemia. And their mothers insist that he be especially nice and friendly to her. And, at least in his head, that starts to make his life a nightmare at school.

Things get even worse when Earl, his weird 'best friend' shows their house-made movies to Rachel (which makes her happy and distracted during those horrible chemo sessions) and Greg's childhood crush, beautiful, popular Madison, finds out about his secret hobby. And asks him to make a movie for Rachel. Word quickly travels through school and soon people are calling him 'Spillberg' and telling him how touching what he's doing is and how they also want to be in the movie.... problem is, Greg and Earl have NO idea what the movie should be about. Their plans were hilarious... in very disturbing ways.
This was possibly the weirdest and craziest book I have ever read. There were jokes thrown in  the middle of very serious sentences, there were "scripts" between the narration... and the narrative itself was so very blunt that it was sometimes shocking. But in a good, clever, surprising way.

I absolutely loved the huge scolding Earl gave Greg about him caring so much about what everybody at school thought about him. In Earl's words: 

"You all worried 'bout what they think about you, man, they don't give a fuck. They don't give a fuck if you live or die, you pussy-ass bitch. (...) Rachel is the only one who do give a fuck. She don't have big-ass titties, so you don't fucking care, but that other bitch don't give a shit about you and, and fucking Rachel do, and you don't fucking give a shit cuz you're a dumb little bitch."

Excess swearing and troubled household aside, Earl is a really good person and Greg totally had it coming, if you ask me. That was probably the only thing that was a bit tiring about the book, the endless self-deprecating and feeling sorry for himself... but at least there was some really good character development, so Greg made up for his annoyance. LOL

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has a very refreshing take on cancer, friendships, growing up and movie-making. Like I said before (and the author himself repeatedly announces), this a  weird book, but everybody should give it a try. Honestly.

If you like eclectic, funny and bittersweet Young Adult books that are also a quick, interesting kind of realist fiction that is different from everything you've ever read before, this is certainly your book.

*I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

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